After announcing his candidacy for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 presidential race Sen. Joe Biden said this about an opponent and fellow Senator Barack Obama ""I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy," Biden said. "I mean, that's a storybook, man."
Can someone please tell me why the heck anyone takes offense in that? You cannot compliment a guy anymore? I watched the CNN segment and I guess the super-sensitive are taking that as some sort of slight. On camera Obama played it off, not giving Biden any slack but certainly not blasting him for it.
Later on Obama, in a written statement, said "I didn't take Sen. Biden's comments personally, but obviously they were historically inaccurate. African-American presidential candidates like Jesse Jackson, Shirley Chisholm, Carol Moseley Braun and Al Sharpton gave a voice to many important issues through their campaigns, and no one would call them inarticulate."
OK FOLKS totally agree that no one would call any of them inarticulate (might call them other things but not inarticulate)- but here the Bottom Line - it is a ticky-tack parsing of an innocent statement.
Here is WHY:
1) The word FIRST is not a modifier of the entire SENTENCE, first is used to modify MAINSTREAM...and I for one think the fact that Obama is the first mainstream candidate is painfully clear. Jesse Jackson? No not mainstream sorry, he catered to a select democrat audience....Shirley Chisholm - who the hell is that? If I cannot recognize the name, then by definition there weren't mainstream....Carol Braun - ok at least I recognize her name, but mainstream? I cannot remember her positions on the big issues, so I honestly don't know...Al Sharpton? - look, I dig Al lately, he's got the cajones to go on Howard Stern, Bill O'Rielly et al. But when he RAN for President, he did not run a MAINSTREAM campaign. Finally, I find it odd that they would leave out Alan Keyes (probably the smartest of the bunch - not the best mind you but the smartest), but I guess since he's a Republican the Democrats don't consider him good enough to cite.
2) As argued above: the statement is TRUE: Obama is the first mainstream African-American presidential candidate. Heck I'd vote the guy....I don't give a crap about the color of his skin. I want to know how he'd lead this country. I don't think any of us are real clear on that, yet.
3) Biden was making the statement as he announced his RUN for the Democrat nomination for PRESIDENT....you can't seriously believe that any person would try and surreptitiously get in a dig against former AFA candidates..that's insane. Three words: Get over it.